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December 03, 2019
Cadwalader intellectual property partner Dorothy Auth moderated a panel featuring three federal judges in a discussion about diversity and inclusion in the legal industry, as part of the New York Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation’s (NYIPLEF) 2nd annual diversity scholarship event in New York last month.
Dr. Auth was joined by Honorable Faith Hochberg (Ret.), U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey; Honorable Shira Scheindlin (Ret.), U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York; and Honorable Gregory Sleet (Ret.), U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.
The panel addressed various industry-wide efforts that are underway to make progress toward a shared goal: to increase the diversity of attorneys appearing at trials. Acknowledging their own collective influence, the judges noted the important role of those sitting on the bench to regularly encourage legal decision-makers to consider qualified diverse candidates for courtroom roles. They also commented on the importance of tracking and measuring such appearances, the statistics for which can be analyzed and distributed to elevate awareness. As one example, a section of the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Women’s Initiatives issued a report in 2017 titled “If Not Now, When? Achieving Equality for Women Attorneys in the Courtroom and in ADR,” to which Scheindlin contributed, and which is currently being updated.
Dr. Auth said: “A key panel takeaway was that while we’re moving the needle – as all three judges said they’ve seen diversity increase both on the bench and in the trial teams appearing before them – our future strides towards greater diversity will likely follow from a concerted focus on continuing the dialogue, taking action with best practices and trying new innovative approaches.”
The event also included a scholarship fundraiser for the NYIPLEF, a charitable organization 501(c)(3) whose mission is to promote intellectual property law education in the New York area.
Dr. Auth, who serves as secretary of NYIPLEF, is a partner in Cadwalader's Intellectual Property Group, based in the firm's New York office. She coordinates global intellectual property enforcement, licensing and procurement strategies for her clients to maximize their protected field, with experience that spans diverse industries, including biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical devices, as well as consumer products, computers, and other mechanical devices.